What We Do

The Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing produces and disseminates independent and objective data-driven research and analysis to raise awareness of emerging trends, opportunities, and challenges in Ontario’s advanced manufacturing ecosystem. The organization plays a lead role in facilitating collaboration among industry stakeholders and ecosystem partners.

A non-profit organization located at Western University, the Trillium Network collaborates with government, manufacturers, industry associations, education and research institutions, and other non-profit ecosystem partners.

Our data-driven research and analysis include, but are not limited to, profiles of innovative Ontario manufacturers and ecosystem partners, case studies of manufacturers that have successfully adopted advanced production technologies, and thematic reports focused on the growth and competitiveness of advanced manufacturing in Ontario.

The Trillium Network maintains a comprehensive database of Ontario manufacturers, manufacturing establishments, and ecosystem partners. This information is available through our TrilliumGIS platform and is the foundation for collaboration with partners.

Meet the Team

The Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing's staff and board of directors have decades of experience working in industry, government, and research institutions. Learn more about our current staff and board members, and about the alumni who made important contributions in the past. The Trillium Network is governed by a board of directors chaired by Ben Whitney and is managed by Brendan Sweeney.

Brendan Sweeney

Managing Director

Brendan Sweeney, Managing Director of the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing, previously served as Project Manager and Research Director at McMaster University's Automotive Policy Research Centre (APRC). He taught at the DeGroote School of Business and the School of Labour Studies. Brendan holds a PhD in Geography from Queen’s University and a B.A. in Labour Studies from McMaster. He had appointments at the School of Policy Studies (Queen’s University) and the Department of Economics (University of Manitoba). Additionally, he spent a year at the University of Washington as a Visiting Fulbright Scholar.

Denise Deschênes-McKay

Associate Director, Operations

Denise Deschênes-McKay, Associate Director of Operations at the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing, holds a Professional Certificate in Leadership and a Project Management Certificate from Western University. Denise attended the University of Ottawa to study Psychology. Before joining the Trillium Network in 2015, she served as an Executive Assistant in Ottawa for Industry Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency. Denise is fluently bilingual and passionate about la francophonie in Ontario, and disability awareness.

Erman Sener

Associate Director, Research

Erman Sener, Associate Director of Research, was a former Mitacs Accelerate Intern for the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing, before joining as Program Officer in December 2019. Erman holds a Master’s in Engineering & Public Policy from McMaster University. Before relocating to Canada in August 2019, he worked for three years as a banking associate at an international bank in New York, assisting global corporate clients, including major Canadian firms. Erman also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Research - Engineering Management Systems, with minors in Computer Science, Economics, and Entrepreneurship from Columbia University.

Drake Kindred

Program Officer

Drake Kindred, Trillium Network's Program Officer since 2023, holds a Master's in International Public Policy from the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Specializing in International Environmental Policy and Human Security, he also has an HBA in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Western Ontario. Drake previously served as a Junior Professional Consultant at the UNDP's Pacific Office in Fiji, contributing to the Gov4Res project. As a Graduate Research Fellow, he published a policy brief on a Canadian Indo-Pacific Strategy. Passionate about cross-cultural exploration, environmental protection, and honing his skills as a home-cook.

Greg Keenan

Editor & Strategic Adviser

Greg Keenan joined Trillium Network as editor and strategic adviser in 2021. He is an award-winning journalist who covered the auto industry and manufacturing sector for more than two decades during a 31-year career at The Globe and Mail. Among the thousands of articles he wrote, his favourites are those written after visits to a factory floor. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in history and political science from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario. He is an avid golfer, woodworker and student of history and can often be found at his model railroad table.

Danielle Gagnon

Financial Administrator

Danielle Gagnon joined the Trillium Network in 2022 as Financial Administrator. Danielle holds a diploma in Business Accounting from Fanshawe College. Danielle has been working as a small-business bookkeeper for several years and brings with her a wealth of experience.

Kane Geng

Communications Assistant

Kane Geng joined the Trillium Network as a Communications Assistant in January 2024. Kane was a Communications & Media Engagement intern at the Trillium Network in the summer of 2023. Kane holds a Master of Media in Journalism & Communication from Western University, and holds a BA in Media, Information & Technoculture.

Ben Whitney

Chair

Ben Whitney is the Chair of the Board of Directors at Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing, and President of Armo Tool Ltd. As the third-generation leader in the family-founded company, he graduated from the University of Toronto in 2000 with a Bachelor's in Applied Science and earned a Masters in Engineering from Western University in 2013. Ben has been integral to Armo Tool since 2000, developing expertise in tool & die industry roles, including designer, PLC programmer, project manager, and manager of Armo’s Die Design department.

Paul Madden

Vice-Chair

Paul Madden has had a successful career at 3M Company. Appointed CEO of 3M Australia/New Zealand in 2007, President of 3M Canada in 2012, and VP/GM of 3M’s Global Automotive and Aerospace Division in 2016 at the Head Office in St. Paul, MN. In Canada, he engaged with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the United Way cabinet in London, and the St Joseph’s Hospital Foundation. Paul's leadership involves motivating teams for exceptional results, valuing diverse perspectives, and successful large organization strategic planning. He and his family are avid sports enthusiasts. Paul sits on two other private company boards and is involved in parahockey in London, Ontario.

Scott Mackenzie

Scott MacKenzie, Director of Corporate & External Affairs at Toyota, oversees all External Affairs functions for Manufacturing and Sales operations across Canada. Joining Toyota in 1999, he's held roles in Manufacturing Operations, Quality Control, Technical Purchasing, Corporate Strategy, and Government Affairs. Responsible for External Affairs at both TMMC and TCI, including Government Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, Public Relations, and Corporate Communications, Scott has been a key advisor in international trade agreements. Born in Kitchener, educated at the University of Waterloo, he now resides in Waterloo with his wife and two children.

Jayson Myers

Jay Myers is CEO of NGen and an award-winning business economist who specializes in industrial and technological change. Between 2007 and 2016, he served as President & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, Canada’s largest industry and trade association. In 2017 and 2018, he headed up the policy office for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. He was the founding Chair of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, Vice Chair of Canada’s National Roundtable on Skills, and Vice Chair of the Ontario and Great Lakes Manufacturing Councils. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the World Manufacturing Forum. Myers has been recognized as one of the most influential policy advocates in Canada.

Alison Newton

Alison Newton, Chief Administrative Officer for the County of Brant, brings a wealth of experience from both public and private sectors. Formerly a Capital Markets Consultant, she worked with global industrial clients, and has worked in the UK and Canada throughout her career. With a BA in Political Science from Carleton University and an MBA from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Alison is a Certified Economic Developer recognized by EDAC and IEDC. A past President of EDCO, she continues to contribute her time to various committees within the organization.

Darryl Spector

Darryl, President of Promation since 2004, is a strategic Operations professional and Executive leader. With a background in Engineering, Manufacturing, and Project Management, he has driven significant growth. Darryl has led operational reorganizations and contributed to cultural definition, earning multiple awards, including the Oakville Chamber of Commerce “Business Icon of the Year” in 2021. He also holds designations as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) from the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) and as a Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute. Darryl is also a member in good standing with the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) since 2020.

Paul Boothe

Founder / Board Member

In 2015, Paul Boothe founded the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing, serving as its inaugural Managing Director and later as a Board Member. Appointed to the Order of Canada in December 2016, he retired as Professor and Director of the Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management at the Ivey Business School, Western University, in August 2016. Paul's diverse career spans university research, teaching, independent consulting, and senior public service roles at provincial and federal levels, including Deputy Minister of Finance for Saskatchewan and Deputy Minister of the Environment at the federal level. He retired from the federal public service in 2012.

Richard DiCerni

Board Member

Richard DiCerni served as a Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing Board Member from 2016 to 2019. A graduate of College Sainte Marie in 1969, he earned a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 1981. Mr. Dicerni began his career with the federal government in 1969, holding various executive positions. In 1992, he became Ontario's Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy, later serving as Deputy Minister of Alberta Executive Council and Head of the Alberta Public Service from 2014 to 2016.

Ian Howcroft

Board Member (retired)

Ian served on the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing Board from 2015 to 2023. Currently, the CEO of Skills Ontario, he previously held roles including Board Member and President. Ian holds an Honours B.A. from McMaster University and a law degree from the University of Western Ontario, a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Skills Ontario, under Ian's leadership, focuses on developing Ontario’s skilled trades and technologies workforce, engaging all youth and connecting education, experience, and employment. Ian also contributes to various boards, including Skills Canada, Centennial College, and committees supporting employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Ray Tanguay

Board of Directors Vice-Chair (retired)

In 1991, Ray joined Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc., earning recognition for instilling innovation. Over 20 years, TMMC received 12 J.D. Power and Associates plant quality awards, including the global best Platinum Award in 2011 and 2014. Under his stewardship, TMMC became the first Toyota plant outside Japan to produce Lexus vehicles in 2003. Ray's leadership extended to the hybrid version, the RX450h, in 2012. Formerly Chairman of TMMC and Toyota Canada Inc., he continues contributing globally as an advisor to Toyota Motor Corporation. Recognized with honorary Doctorates from Laurier University and the University of Waterloo in 2012.

Evan Aiello

Research Associate

Evan Aiello was a Research Associate for the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing during the summer of 2017.

Jake Anderson

Research Associate

Jake Anderson was a Research Associate for The Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing in 2019, following his graduation from Western University’s Honours Specialization in Economics program.

Natasha Bartlett

Program Manager

Natasha was a Program Manager at the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing from 2021 to 2022.

Brandon Chang

Brandon Chang was a Research Associate at the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing in 2019-2020.

Han Sheng (Michael) Chiang

Han Sheng Chiang was a Mitacs Accelerate Intern for the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing during the summer of 2020.

Kristine Clarin

Communications & Marketing Assistant

Kristine Clarin was a Communications and Marketing Assistant at the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing in 2022.

Trevor Coppins

Mitacs Intern

Trevor was a Mitacs Accelerate Intern for the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing in 2020. T

Michael (Mike) Cox

Strategic Data Analyst

Michael (Mike) Cox was a Strategic Data Analyst for the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing in 2020-2021.

Oscar Crawford-Ritchie

Research Associate

Oscar was a Research Associate for the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing from 2016 to 2017.

Bing Feng

Program Officer

Bing Feng was a Program Officer at the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing until 2018.

Tom Haley

Research Associate

Tom Haley was a Research Associate for the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing in 2016.

Andrew Horne

Program Officer

Andrew Horne was a Program Officer at the Trillium Network in 2022.

Eric Huang

Research Associate

Eric Huang was a research associate for the Trillium Network of Advanced Manufacturing in 2017.

Dave Hudson

Deputy Director (retired)

Dave Hudson, with over 40 years of experience, excelled in strategic planning, project management, and customer relations in both public and private sectors. In the government, he rose to Deputy Minister in Alberta, overseeing departments like Consumer and Corporate Affairs. In the private sector, Dave joined CGI in 1994, leading the Business Engineering group in Western Canada. His notable roles included being CGI’s lead negotiator for the Mackenzie gas pipeline project and serving as Managing Director of CGI Australia from 2009 to 2011. Dave retired from CGI in December 2013.

Omar Imambaccus

Research Associate

Omar was a research associate at Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing in 2017.

Kriti Jangpangi

Research Associate

Kriti Jangpangi was a Research Associate at the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing in 2019-2020. She joined the organization in December 2019, while pursuing her Master of Management of Applied Science (MMASc) degree from Western University.

Joe Johnston

Research Associate

Joe Johnston was a Research Associate at the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing from 2016 to 2017. After graduating from Western University with a Honours Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Politics and Philosophy, Joe moved to London UK to pursue further legal education. He now holds a UK law degree and is currently working in regulatory compliance with Seedrs, the UK's first authorized investment based crowdfunding platform.

Riley Kemp

Program Officer - GIS Specialist

Riley Kemp was a Program Officer - GIS Specialist at the Trillium Network in from 2022 to 2023. He holds an HBSc from the University of Toronto where he majored in Geographic Information Systems and Human Geography. Prior to joining the Trillium Network, Riley worked in the Mississauga Library System for almost 10 years, completing his time as a library assistant, where he could be found developing and running Maker and STEM programs. Riley also spent time with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as a GIS assistant.

Umair Khot

Research Associate

Umair Khot was a Mitacs Intern at the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing in the summer of 2020.

Anu Lalith Kumar

Research Associate

Anu Kumar was a research associate for the Trillium Network of Advanced Manufacturing from November 2015 until August 2017.

Eva Kwan

Research Assistant

Eva Kwan was a Research Assistant at the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing. Prior to this, Eva worked as a Mitacs Accelerate Intern for the Trillium Network. Eva is a Ph.D. student in the industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology program at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) and has research interests in diversity and inclusion, employee recruitment, and employee voice.

Kevin Madden

Research Associate

Kevin Madden was a Research Associate with the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing from 2017 to 2018. He graduated from Western University in 2018 with an Honours Specialization in Economics, Politics, & Philosophy. Upon graduation, he was awarded the Honours Economics University of Western Ontario Gold Medal for being the top graduating student in the Economics, Politics, & Philosophy module.

Shannon Miller

Program Officer

Shannon was a Program and Operations Support Officer at the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing. Prior to joining the Trillium Network, Shannon graduated with a B.A. and M.A. in Labour Studies from McMaster University, where her experience in FCA Canada’s People Development led her to concentrate on automotive manufacturing employment. As a Research Assistant at the Automotive Policy Research Center, she focused on demographic and job quality changes within the automotive industry. Shannon also works with the Ontario Basic Income Network to evaluate the impacts of poverty on Canada’s labour market, healthcare and criminal-legal systems, including how effects on the population are shaped by race and gender. Her research interests include recruitment, retention and development practices rooted in equity and inclusion.

Luiza Moczarski

Marketing and Communications Manager

Luiza worked at the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing in 2022 as Marketing and Communications Manager.

David Moloney

Deputy Director

David Moloney was a Deputy Director at the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing from 2015 to 2021. Mr. Moloney possesses a wealth of both policy and public sector management experience with a career spanning over three decades with the Government of Canada. Mr. Moloney was appointed by the Prime Minister to lead Canada’s participation in the Canada – U.S. Beyond the Border Action Plan and in the Canada – U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council Joint Action Plan, following their launch in December, 2011 by the Prime Minister and the President of the United States.

Jack Mordue

Program Officer

Jack Mordue joined the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing as a Program Officer in October of 2020. Earning a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Guelph, Jack also completed, with distinction, a graduate program in Public Administration.

Clifford Patterson

Strategic Data Manager

Cliff worked for the Trillium Network in 2022 as the Strategic Data Manager after many years of collaboration with the organization to develop the TrilliumGIS platform. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Otago’s National School of Surveying, and is an expert in geographic information systems, remote sensing, software development, and database design. He worked in the education, conservation, and municipal sectors before focusing almost exclusively on GIS software development in recent years.

Nick Persichilli

Communications Officer

Nick Persichilli was the Communications Officer for the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing from 2021 to 2023.

Andrew Rebus

Research Associate

Andrew Rebus was a Research Associate with the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing from 2019-2020.

Alister Smith

Deputy Director

Alister Smith was a Deputy Director for the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing until October 2020. Prior to working at the Trillium Network, Alister held a number of senior positions with the federal government, as well as with a Canadian bank. Most recently, he was Executive Director for Canada at the World Bank. Prior to that, he was Associate Secretary to the Treasury Board and held other senior positions at Treasury Board and the Department of Finance. Over the course of his career, he has worked at senior levels in a variety of policy areas including expenditure management, regulation, trade, investment, and international finance. Earlier, he was Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist at CIBC. He holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Jonathan Soriano

Program Officer

Jonathan Soriano worked for the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing from 2017 to 2020. He first joined the Trillium Network in November 2017 as a Research Associate while completing his undergraduate degree at Western University. Upon graduating from Western with an Honours Specialization in Global Economics, Jonathan received the University of Western Ontario Gold Medal for Honours Specialization in Global Economics and The Chancellor’s Prize in Social Science Honours Program. In August 2019, he completed the PhD-stream Masters at Western University and joined the Trillium Network full time as a Program Officer.

Talissa Watson

Research Associate

Talissa Watson began working for the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing as a Mitacs Intern in the summer of 2020. Talissa is a candidate for the MSc in Management program at the Ivey Business School within the Business Analytics stream. Prior to beginning her MSc program, she completed her undergraduate degree at Western University with an Honours Specialization in Global Economics. Upon graduating from her economics studies, she was awarded the Mark K. Inman Senior Essay Prize for her senior thesis which evaluated Canadian refugee policies in the assimilation of refugees within the Canadian labour market between 1982-2015. She was able to complete this study with her thesis partner using the longitudinal immigration database within the research data centre at Western University.

David Zhang

Program Officer

David Zhang joined the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing in July 2017 as Program Officer. David is a 2016 HBA graduate from the Ivey Business School at Western University. He was a Western National Scholar and an Ivey HBA Leaders Scholarship recipient. David’s interests span the private, public, and non-profit sectors. He spent two summers working as a private equity analyst in Beijing, worked a year as a Research Associate at the Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management, and currently sits on the City of Waterloo’s Economic Development Advisory Committee.

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